Defective Drugs

Advocates Cry Foul Over Risperdal Use In Foster Homes

Several groups sued the Department of Social Services because foster parents allegedly used the dangerous drug Risperdal as “chemical straight jackets.”

Attorneys for the National Center for Youth Law, Children’s Rights,  and Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics asked a federal judge to grant the suit class action status and force the state to make changes in the way that the drug is used. The Food and Drug Administration has never approved Risperdal for children, primarily because of reported side effects like suicidal thoughts, uncontolled twitching, and Type 2 diabetes.

Study: Testosterone Supplements Cause Plaque Buildup

A new study adds to the growing body of evidence connecting testosterone supplements and heart disease. The National Institutes of Health studied 170 men with an average age slightly above 70, which is the target age group for many testosterone supplements. Study participants who used AndroGel for more than twelve months had a 20 percent higher rate of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to plaque. Such participants also had higher rates of heart disease in general. Despite the known side effects, ads for testosterone supplements routinely tout benefits for older men, almost equating low-t therapy with the fountain of...

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Six Ways To Boost Testosterone Levels Without Dangerous Drugs

Large numbers of men use dangerous testosterone supplements to deal with common issues such as increased fatigue, foul moods, and decreased sexual function that are commonly associated with “male menopause,” but such supplements have potentially deadly side effects. Fortunately, research has also shown that there are a number of ways to increase testosterone levels naturally and more gradually without dangerous testosterone supplements.

Risperdal Plaintiff Demands New Trial

Dean Hibbs asked a Pennsylvania judge to reinstate his Risperdal lawsuit against drug maker Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. after a rather bizzare episode led to a mistrial declaration.

As one of the plaintiff’s medical experts was testifying in court, a juror had an emergency medical episode and the doctor stopped his testimony to help the stricken juror. Judge Kenneth Powell ruled that the jurors could not consider the expert’s testimony in an unbiased manner and ordered it stricken from the record. Without this testimony, Janssen’s lawyers argued, Mr. Hibbs failed to meet his burden of proof as a matter of law, and so Judge Powell threw out the case. In his response, Mr. Hibbs argued that he had presented sufficient evidence for a reasonable juror to conclude that there was a Risperdal/gynecomastia link, and that in any case, the mistrial was improper because the judge ordered it “without conducting voir dire of the jury to determine whether they were in fact prejudiced.”

As Seen On TV: Media Ads Increase Supplement Sales

Even though there may be more evidence to support serious side effects than product efficacy, the “low-T” ads prominently featured on television have caused a surge in testosterone supplement sales, according to a recent study.

Most of the ads ran in the southeast and Great Lakes region, where some men saw up to fourteen commercials a month, or 200 such commercials during the study period. The study concluded that every commercial triggered an increase in testosterone testing, new prescriptions, and especially in prescriptions without testing. Dr. Richard Kravitz, who sits on the faculty at the University of California-Davis, said that this latest testosterone study underscored the sometimes harmful effects of patient advertising.

More Victims Filing Risperdal Lawsuits

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson, is facing 40 percent more Risperdal serious side effect lawsuits today than it did just a year ago.

The lead attorneys in Philadelphia have added more than 500 new suits to the docket since the beginning of 2017. J&J lawyers are now even more aggressive in the wake of a $70 million verdict in March 2017; before then, the company had settled many of these actions for as little as $2,000 a case. One source says that J&J is refusing to settle and doing “whatever it takes” to win cases, such as bringing a new stable of expert witnesses to court. On top of the Risperdal lawsuits, the company is dealing with multiple verdicts regarding the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, in addition to an ongoing parade of defective hip implant cases. There are more claims on the horizon as well, as the first Xarelto  trial is scheduled to begin in April 2017; these victims claim that the blood thinner causes uncrontrolled bleeding.

Studies: Testosterone Doesn’t Help Most Men

According to a new group of studies, testosterone therapy may help some men get stronger bones, but it does almost nothing for sexual problems, anemia, and other issues; furthermore, this treatment plan carries serious health risks that can be fatal.

The much-anticipated TTrials surveyed almost 800 men in twelve different locations nationwide. Many men in the group showed significantly higher bone density levels after receiving aggressive testosterone replacement therapy. Many men also reported having more energy, and some findings did indicate elevated hemoglobin levels in these patients, but some professional reviewers questioned the validity of these findings. The studies found no link between testosterone levels and cognition or sex drive, but researchers found a definite link between testosterone and heart problems.

Gynecomastia Lawsuit Settles On Courthouse Steps

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, paid a victim an undisclosed sum of money to avoid trial in a Risperdal lawsuit.

In December 2016, Judge Arnold L. New ruled that a jury could hear only two of the victim’s thirteen claims. Less than a month later, and three days before jury selection was to begin, the parties announced a settlement. According to court documents, doctors prescribed Risperdal to the victim off-label in 2002 while he was still a minor; at that time, the Food and Drug Administration had only approved the drug for use in adults with certain mental health conditions. After taking Risperdal for ten years, the young man developed gynecomastia (male breast enlargement), a condition that nearly always requires aggressive surgery to correct.

The Link Between Talcum Powder And Ovarian Cancer

In the ongoing talcum powder row, many doctors are trying to walk a middle line between powerful pharmaceutical companies and innocent victims by downplaying the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer while advising women not to use the product.

As an example, Dr. Robert Ashley recently wrote that the primary study linking talc to ovarian cancer may have been tainted, but he stopped short of challenging the results. Rather than saying there was no connection, Dr. Ashley opined that the survey method may have been incomplete and the women who testified about the link may have suffered from what he called “recall bias.” Part of the problem is that ovarian cancer is so rare that reliable studies and statistics are difficult to obtain, he added.

FDA Warns Of Testosterone Supplement Dangers

The Food and Drug Administration recently ordered testosterone supplement manufacturers to add warnings about the risk of drug dependence and possible side effects.

Doctors may prescribe steroids to certain patients who suffer from certain medical conditions. However, many doctors also give these drugs to men over 40 who have symptoms of “male menopause,” even though there is comparatively little evidence that such a condition indeed exists. The federal government, and most state governments, classify anabolic steroids as Schedule III dangerous drugs because they are very addictive, especially if taken beyond what the doctor orders. Additionally, recent evidence has established additional links between testosterone supplements and serious side effects, including heart failure, personality changes, and liver disease.

A little over 6,000 cases have been consolidated in the Northern District of Illinois, and the first bellwether trial is set to begin in June 2017.